Irma’s view from the Ivory Tower

The chaffeur is outThe last time we checked in on the former board of trustees of the very current North Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, head cheerleaders Irma Braman and Ray Ellen Yarkin performed their juvenile last act of defiance by shutting down the museum and hijacking its website.

You may remember that Braman, Yarkin & Co. looked down their too-good-for-the-likes-of-North-Miami noses and decided to leave because, well, you know, it’s so hard to get good help these days.

Oh, and the fact that the “working class” of North Miami refused the trustees’ expansion dreams with their hard earned tax dollars by voting NO! to a MOCA bond.

Never mind that the trustees had the wherewithal to raise plenty of funds to expand MOCA on their own without expecting North Miami residents to foot the bill.  The bond rejection was merely an excuse for the trustees to be able to get on their high horses and escape Blue Collar Hell.

North Miami officials were only too happy to say “Good riddance!” and show these snobs the front door…

While being able to retain 70% of the artwork that the former trustees tried to steal for themselves.

Like facts, court orders can be just so inconvenient.

When the former trustees pitched their temporary tent in the Miami Design District, and started their own Institute of Contemporary Art, all of a sudden money was no object.

The opening paragraphs in a New York Times article published last December:

MIAMI — Norman Braman, the auto dealership magnate, has just uttered the words every contractor dreams of hearing: “Whatever the cost is, we will be building it, period.”

Sitting with his wife, Irma, on the patio of their Indian Creek Island home, off Miami Beach, he has been outlining their plans to single-handedly fund the design and construction of South Florida’s newest major museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. It could be a cultural game changer in a city crowded with four significant private museums, two more on the way and three public ones all focused on contemporary art.

Somehow without the help of struggling taxpayers, the Crown Prince and Princess of Recall managed to find plenty of funding “with the promise of significant art loans from the Braman collection” to build their dream Paean to Themselves “occupying 37,500 square feet across three floors” and “an adjoining 15,000-square-foot sculpture garden created by the Bramans’ purchase (and imminent razing) of three neighboring homes.”

But, even the rich have First World Problems.

No fennel leftThe Art Newspaper reported today that Irma’s Institute of Contemporary Art is losing “its interim director less than five months after announcing the appointment of Suzanne Weaver to the post.”

Braman and Yarkin quickly went into damage control mode.

Museum sources in Miami say that Weaver resigned from her position. The ICA denies this. In a statement emailed to The Art Newspaper, the board’s co-chairs Irma Braman and Ray Ellen Yarkin said that although Weaver’s appointment was announced in September, she had in fact joined the institution last summer.

And, yes, I’m LMAO!

MOCA’s former board of trustees might have left “working class” North Miami for a ritzier and, in their minds, a more prestigious location.

But, one thing’s for certain…

They’ll never eat White Privilege Brunch in this town again.

Stephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”

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  1. Lila M. says:

    oooh so nasty.


  2. […] seems that the ICA gals are still having trouble finding a director for their spin-off […]


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